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January 18, 2024
The 12-year-old channel partner will join the Upstack family through an acquisition. The groups did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Strategic Telecom Partners founder Brad Carrell will stay on at Upstack for the time being as partner and managing director.
The deal is the 32nd acquisition Berkshire-backed Upstack has publicized. The tech advisory firm has formed deals with some of the agent channel's oldest and most successful leaders, buying their customer accounts and bases of residual commissions.
In Strategic Telecom Partners (STP), Upstack gets an award-winning agency that was looking to scale. Carrell in a news release said he needed to scale up his staff in order to help his customers adopt "transformative" technologies.
“I joined Upstack because I care about my customers, their success and future,” Carrell said. “My customers will benefit from having more resources without losing me. In fact, I will be more available to advise them about more solutions that can drive their business growth.”
Carrell told Channel Futures those new resources include more product and market experts and additional customer experience and project management staff.
Now Carrell said the acquisition can help his company fill gaps in its technological knowledge.
"The standard advice we hear in the technology advisor consulting space is to be an expert generalist or a 'jack of all trades.' The exact opposite approach is the one we’ve taken to market," Carrell told Channel Futures. "We try to be the 'master of all trades' and the 'jack of none' in all customer projects we manage. Being subject matter experts ourselves in as many product categories as possible has been key to growth."
Carrell founded STP in 2012 after a short stales stint at Time Warner Cable.
He had spent a decade at Sprint, where he worked in account acquisition and account management. He won numerous President's Circle awards while working at the carrier, as well as the Excellence Award.
He started his career at AeroComm after graduating from the University of Kansas.
Launching an independent agency allowed Carrell to obtain what other partner leaders have found: the ability to source the best fit solutions for customers outside the constraints of one vendor's portfolio and its sales quotas.
Carrell said STP established a reputation for its emphasis on the post-sale experience. Adding people who can coordinate deployments with vendors and customers could enhance that capability.
"Five percent of what customers care about happens before the sale; 95% of what they care about happens after the sale," Carrell told Channel Futures. "So, expert advice and follow through after the sale on project implementation are what we’re known for."
Upstack founder and CEO Christopher Trapp called Carrell "ahead of the curve."
"He built Strategic Telecom Partners into one of the top-performing technology advisory firms based on delivering an exceptional customer experience long before CX was top of mind," Trapp said. "Customer advocacy is a guiding principle at Upstack and one of the many reasons I’m excited to welcome Brad to the Upstack team.”
Telarus, a brokerage STP has worked closely with over the last, named the agency to its Hall of Fame. The Telarus Hall of Fame, in which only 10 companies reside, includes companies that have registered more than 100 consecutive selling months with Telarus.
Read more about:Agents
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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